Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fact, not fiction: Part 1

It is so sad to see that some Americans still can't think for themselves, but instead rely on rumors, gossip, and innunendo... the truth is there, if you choose to see it.

Friends shouldn't let friends vote stupid...


Barack was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. Barack's father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya. His mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in small-town Kansas.

After graduating from Columbia University in New York, he became a community organizer working with churches on the South Side of Chicago. After studying at Trinity United Church of Christ, he was baptized and remains a committed and active Christian.

Trinity United Church of Christ is the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ. It is part of a liberal denomination that was the first to ordain an African American, a woman, and a gay man. Congregants have described it in the New York Times as a "warm and accepting community," and while it is in a predominantly African American congregation, people of all backgrounds attend and are enthusiastically welcomed.

Barack was sworn in as a U.S. Senator on his own personal Bible and continues to attend Trinity United regularly with his family.

THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: "'Trinity UCC is rooted in and proud of its Afrocentric heritage,' [Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president] said. 'This is no different than the hundreds of UCC churches from the German Evangelical and Reformed stream that continue to own and celebrate their German heritage, insisting on annual sausage and sauerkraut dinners and singing Stille Nacht on Christmas Eve. Recognizing and celebrating our distinctive racial-ethnic heritages, cultures, languages and customs are what make us unique as a united and uniting denomination.' While Trinity UCC is predominately African American, it does include and welcome non-Black members. The Rev. Jane Fisler-Hoffman, Illinois Conference Minister, who is white, has been a member of the congregation for years."

NEWSWEEK: "Dueling chain e-mails claim he's a radical Muslim or a 'racist' Christian. Both can't be right. We find both are false. If these two nasty e-mail messages are any indication, the 2008 presidential campaign is becoming a very dirty one. One claims that Obama is 'certainly a racist' by virtue of belonging to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, which it says 'will accept only black parishioners' and espouses a commitment to Africa. Actually, a white theology professor says he's been 'welcomed enthusiastically' at the church, as have other non-blacks. Another e-mail claims that Obama 'is a Muslim,' attended a 'Wahabi' school in Indonesia, took his Senate oath on the Koran, refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and is part of an Islamic plot to take over the U.S. Each of these statements is false. These false appeals to bigotry and fear remind us of the infamous whispering campaign of eight years ago, when anonymous messages just before the South Caroli na primary falsely accused Republican candidate John McCain of fathering an illegitimate child by a black woman."

PROMINENT JEWISH LEADERS: "As leaders of the Jewish community, none of whose organizations will endorse or oppose any candidate for President, we feel compelled to speak out against certain rhetoric and tactics in the current campaign that we find particularly abhorrent. Of particular concern, over the past several weeks, many in our community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo to mischaracterize Senator Barack Obama's religious beliefs and who he is as a person. These tactics attempt to drive a wedge between our community and a presidential candidate based on despicable and false attacks and innuendo based on religion. We reject these efforts to manipulate members of our community into supporting or opposing candidates."

JEWISH U.S. SENATORS: "Over the past several weeks, many in the Jewish community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo about Senator Barack Obama's religion and attack him personally. As Jewish United States Senators who have not endorsed a candidate for the Democratic nomination, we condemn these scurrilous attacks. We find it particularly abhorrent that these attacks are apparently being sent specifically to the Jewish Community. Jews, who have historically been the target of such attacks, should be the first to reject these tactics. We won't dignify these falsehoods by repeating them in order to refute them. Instead, we will express our outrage at these tactics, which are being used to demonize a good and decent man and our friend and colleague. Attempting to manipulate voters into supporting or opposing one candidate or another based on despicable and fictitious attacks is disgraceful. These false and malicious attacks should not be part of our political discourse."

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